From the State of North Carolina Office of Governor Bev Perdue, shared April 13:
She vetoed the bills around 6 p.m. today, April 13, 2011. Below are her comments on vetoing the bills.
House Bill 7, “An Act To Provide That Constituent Institutions Of The North Carolina Community College System May Opt Out Of Participation In The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program”
As North Carolina continues to pull out of this global economic recession, it is more important than ever that we grow and strengthen students’ opportunities to get career training or a college education. As a state, I believe we should search for more pathways for students to follow towards higher education, and I understand the importance of financial aid in helping more students succeed in their goal of a college degree or career training.
So I gladly signed a law passed last year that required community colleges to participate in a federal loan program that makes it easier for students to borrow money to attend a community college. That law was necessary because only 20 of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges were making federal loan programs available to their students.
The General Assembly has now reversed course, and chosen to allow community colleges to opt out from the federal financial aid program. More than 177,000 students would be denied access to the safest and least expensive method of borrowing money for college, and North Carolina would be last among the 50 states in providing access to these loans. I strongly believe House Bill 7 will harm students, deny them valuable opportunities to pursue their educations, and turn North Carolina in the wrong direction.